Japanese schools are well known for providing healthy, balanced lunches for students, especially compared to other certain countries where fries and pizza are the lunchtime norm.
But despite their excellent track record, every now and then there’s going to be a slip-up. That’s what happened on March 11 at Asaka Daigo Elementary School in Asaka City, Saitama Prefecture.
Seven people, one teacher and six students, ended up with chipped teeth after eating the school lunch, and three of the children had to go to the hospital. The cause of their injuries: the noodles were fried too hard.
The meal in question was sara udon (“plate udon”), a dish from Nagasaki that puts cooked vegetables and meat on top of fried noodles. Unlike other udon dishes, the noodles are supposed to be crispy, rather than soft and chewy.
Apparently what went wrong was the cooking time for the noodles. Instead of being fried for two to three minutes as they should be, they were fried for 10 minutes, turning them extremely hard. The staff who cooked the food on-site at the school did not have instructions for the correct cooking time and opted to fry them longer because “they didn’t look done yet.”
What’s more, the previous day, sixth-grade children were served donuts that had expired a year ago, due to a delivery mistake.
The school’s lunch department has said that they are taking measures for this to not happen again, but Japanese netizens had a lot of pressing concerns:
“The kids are told to eat everything, so they did, even if it hurt them.”
“They’re supposed to eat quietly too, so they couldn’t even ask for help.”
“Awful, imagining them forcing themselves to eat something so hard.”
“And the donuts too… what is going on there?”
“I can’t believe the teacher broke their tooth too.”
Source: NHK via Hachima Kiko
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